WINDHOEK - Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta)’s suspended office administrator, Uapingena Karuaera, says that some leaders who have had long-drawn conflicts over the run of affairs at the association secretly reconciled with each other without the knowledge of the regional leadership.
Karuaera claims that Magnus Nangombe, Nabta President and Pendapala Nakathingo, Oshana Regional Chairperson signed a reconciliation agreement ‘under the table’ sometime in January this year even though it only came to the attention of other regional chairpersons at a meeting on May 19.
Nakathingo and Vespa Muunda, Chief Administration and Executive Officer, Ankambo Emmanuel and Elvis Kauesa, were allegedly elected at the 2005 congress through ‘fraudulent means’ because when they were asked to provide relevant information including membership to Nabta, which they apparently refused to do.
This led to their expulsion from Nabta, but since then the northern leaders have been involved in a tug of war with Nangombe and Karuaera. The suspended office administrator said Nangombe, Nakathingo, Muunda, Ankambo, Innocent Simasiku, Nabta vice-president for long distance buses and Kalinda Mweengo, the vice-president for taxis met on February 18 where among others, the reconciliation agreement was sealed and deregistration of Nabta was discussed.
“Magnus (Nangombe) told me he had reconciled with the northern people. I told him to call all regional chairpersons before he signs the agreement,” said Karuaera. He claims it seems Nangombe never informed the leaders about the reconciliation.
At the May 19 meeting, Karuaera said everyone was shocked when he questioned why Nangombe was hiding the reconciliation agreement from the regional structures. A reconciliation agreement seen by New Era resolved that all Nabta members who were elected during the 2005 congress, including regional chairpersons “should carry out their duties as entrusted to them until the Congress is held.”
It also stipulates that all pending court cases must be withdrawn, while Nabta compensates both parties involved a half of what they have lost.
Karuaera says the reason why those at the reconciliation meeting were trying to hide the agreement from other regional leaders was because the money to compensate the parties was to come from the association’s coffers.
“But where does the money come from?” he asked, saying that it would have to come from members who would have to cough up the expenses incurred due to disagreements among the leaders. George van Wyk, Chairperson of the Westcoast Committee said that they were not informed of the reconciliation agreement, as “Magnus also is Nabta”.
Peneas Shaningwa, Omaheke Regional Chairperson, said that he had no clue about such an agreement and complained that Nabta was doing nothing in that region. He said the situation at Gobabis is so horrible that taxis were even driving without licenses since there is no coordination. Abel Muumbu, Caprivi Regional Chairperson, said he only heard about that the reconciliation but was not informed.
“They are still fighting over the different Nabta logos. Enough is enough,” he said, adding that if anyone came up with a new association, he would join. Nangombe said the court decided the ousted northern region leaders must be reinstated after the association had appealed three times. “I don’t want to be in contempt of the court decision,” he said.
Nangombe added that when he was footing the court fees no one from the regional structures wanted to assist him, but they now want to be consulted about the reconciliation agreement. He said that the association does not have money and the best way was to reinstate them so that they could withdraw the court cases.
“They want to use me, it’s very shameful,” he added, saying that those who are opposed to the reconciliation agreement must go to the Labour Court in Oshakati if they want to oppose the decision made by that court. This was not a case between Nangombe and them (northern region), it was a decision between the association and them,” he said.